Zacuto USA 2014-08-19T21:55:39Z WordPress Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Zacuto Survey: Rules & Regulations]]> 2014-07-28T15:39:36Z 2014-07-24T16:16:28Z


1.Promotion Description: The ‘Zacuto Survey Drawing’ (“Drawing”) begins on July 26th, 2014 at 12:00 AM (Central Time (US & Canada)) and ends on August 31st, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Central Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Drawing, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Zacuto USA (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Drawing.

2.Eligibility: Open to entrants who are eighteen (18) years or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Drawing or win a prize.

3.Winner Selection: The winner of the Drawing will be selected via a random drawing (by a third party service) of the eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The information obtained through the survey and entry into the Drawing will be used solely for internal purposes. The information will not be shared with other parties.

Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry by September 3rd, 2014 after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor by September 8th, 2014. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture and another winner selected. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.

4. Prizes:
•One (1) Grand Prize winner will receive $1,000 Zacuto Gift Card (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $1,000)

Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prize cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

Prize will only be awarded and/or delivered to addresses given. All federal, state and/or local taxes, fees, and surcharges are the sole responsibility of the prize winner. Failure to comply with the Official Rules will result in forfeiture of the prize.

5. Entry: Entrants enter the Drawing during the Promotion Period online by completing the survey at this address: Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the entrant. Any attempt by an entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void that entrant’s Entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official time keeper for this Drawing.

6. Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, certain basic personally identifying information (i.e. entrant’s name) may be disclosed to other parties only as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner’s list. No other personally identifying information will be shared with third parties.

7. Limitation of Liability: Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Drawing or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Drawing. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misdirected or lost mail, or any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay of operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating downloading materials in the Drawing. If, for any reason, the Drawing is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Drawing, then Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Drawing. In such event, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, perform the judging of all eligible Entries received prior to or after such cancellation, suspension, or modification. In the event of a dispute concerning who registered online to participate in the Drawing, the registration will be declared to have been made by the authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, education institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. A potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the email address. If a dispute cannot be resolved to Sponsor’s satisfaction, the entry will be deemed ineligible.

8. Winner’s List: To obtain a copy of any legally required winners list or a copy of the Official Rules, send the applicable request and a self-addressed, stamped, #10 envelope to:

Zacuto USA
cc: Zacuto Survey Drawing
401 W Ontario St, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60654

Requests must be received no later than six (6) months after the end of the Drawing.

9. Sponsor: The Drawing is sponsored by:

Zacuto USA
401 W Ontario St, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60654

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Featured Filmmaker – David Barnes]]> 2014-07-14T20:26:29Z 2014-07-11T15:21:48Z davidbarnes-999x562
The Same But Different project opens the viewer’s eyes and mind to the everyday lives of children with differences. Meet David Barnes, the EMMY award winning filmmaker who was inspired to tell these unique stories.

We at Zacuto were instantly hooked on David’s stunning story telling style and love that these shorts were shot on a DSLR – a Canon 5DM2 and 7D.  We decided to turn the tables and find out more about his inspiration and journey.

Tell us about about Theo’s Story and the Same But Different project.

Theo’s Story is one of eight documentary portraits from Same But Different, an International Emmy Award winning collection of shorts featuring children with differences from across the UK who explain “what it’s like to be me”. The films have been praised for their non-patronising approach. Theo’s blind and he hates it when people are too nice to him. He’s an inspiring character and, at ten years old, his outlook on life is very profound.

The project originated as a co-production between myself and Louise Lynch of Libra Television. Louise and I came up with the format which BBC Learning commissioned as part of a disability season. The films were primarily aimed at children aged 7 to 11 and intended to help them empathize with, and better understand, those who might be considered different.

When was the moment you knew you wanted to be a filmmaker?

I don’t really know if there was one eureka moment. I’ve always loved creating, be that in photography, music or writing stories, and I realised in my early twenties that film combines all these disciplines. I was working in advertising at the time but it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life so I gave it up and went back to college.  I started working my way up the industry whilst making shorts in my spare time. Looking back, some of my early films make me cringe but I’m proud of the fact I was making my own stuff. It didn’t occur to me to give up. I just kept going, got a bit better at it and now I’m pleased to be able to make my living this way.

Winning the EMMY for Same But Different.

Who inspires you?

Such a hard question! Inspiration can take lots of forms. I find many filmmakers, known and unknown, inspiring both in their work and their approach. All the obvious great directors and filmmakers including Guillermo del Toro, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Werner Herzog and hundreds of others but also lots of lesser known filmmakers like Philip Bloom, Shane Carruth, Stu Maschwitz, Sing J Lee, Christian Schultz, Colin O’Toole and Shona Auerbach.

I am inspired by awesome composers such as Clint Mansell, Philip Glass, Hans Zimmer, Johnny Marr and authors such as Joe Haldeman and Peter F Hamilton and large morality tales found in sci-fi narratives in video games such as Mass Effect, Half Life and Portal. Many of those inspirations aren’t actually reflected directly my work in terms of subject matter.  For me, I try and take various inspirations and make work that is meaningful and has a message which is told in an emotive way and occasionally it works. It’s har
d to look at Theo’s Story and then compare it to the above examples in terms of genre but emotionally I think those inspirations seep through.

What advice would you like to pass along to filmmakers looking to make a difference in the world?

I’m not sure what advice I can give…..I suppose it would be if you have a message that’s worth passing on or a great story to tell, make sure you tell it. Film is such a powerful medium, it incorporates all the arts and if well executed can be very effective. If you persevere and are passionate then you can make a difference, even if it’s a small one. Jason Russell is a great example of a film maker who has actually made a real change with Kony 2012. That’s super inspiring.

Filming Same But Different on Location Lunchtime! Same but Different in the classroom. The editing room. davidbarnes-999x562 DavidBarnesEmmy


David is a director and producer based at MediaCityUK. He loves to write, shoot, edit and tell stories, particularly in collaboration with others. In 2014 David was awarded an International Emmy for “Same But Different” a series of documentary portraits he directed. Other directing work includes music videos for Johnny Marr, Suede and Soul Inscribed as well as TV commercials and a series of online comedy animated shorts. His work has been nominated for awards including two BAFTAs, Royal Television Society, Kidscreen, Broadcast Digital, Japan Prize and he’s a recipient of a Roses Award and Young Co-Operative Filmmakers Award.

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Zacuto Rentals and the Striker Rig by Daniel Ryan]]> 2014-06-18T14:50:06Z 2014-06-18T14:46:43Z Zacuto DSLR Striker RigI direct and shoot all over the world, and Zacuto gear is always in tow. Whether it’s hanging out of a helicopter, discovering abandoned towns, hiking through snow-covered mountains or shooting live music on tour – I need gear that is reliable in any situation or climate.

I’ve been using a Striker rig for the past several years for doc-type shoots because of its portability and discreetness. Along with the rig, I always use a Z-Finder EVF Pro. I can’t stress how crucial these tools have been over the years, especially outdoors and on the go. They make my job exponentially easier and anything I ever need to round out my camera package is only a phone call away with their rental department.

Zacuto has been involved with every single shoot of mine the world over and the customer service is first and foremost why I always return. Rental extensions, loyalty deals and overall help whenever I need it is incomparable to the other rental houses I have worked with. Also, they are constantly improving their existing gear and coming up with new rigs that I can’t wait to try out. Zacuto really is my one stop shop for everything I need when prepping to leave for a shoot.


Rent your own Striker rig and Z-Finder EVF Pro and more from Zacuto Rentals.  Call us at 312-863-3453 or email

Daniel Ryan is a Director who has worked on numerous projects including producing the music series FOR NO ONE, video content for Altoid’s Hall of Curiosity as well as live concert footage and photography from Moscow for CNN and Regina Spektor. Find out more about Daniel Ryan here.  And follow him on Twitter @danielryanvideo.

At the Sydney Opera House with the Zacuto EVF Using the Striker Rig in Colorado Shooting Cal Ripken Filming in Moscow Red Square At the zoo with the Zacuto Striker Using the EVF on location Zacuto DSLR Striker Rig ]]>
Eric Marsh <![CDATA[Zacuto New Products]]> 2014-08-19T21:55:39Z 2014-06-09T09:00:21Z We’re excited to announce that we will be launching new products in the coming months – the Gratical HD EVF, VCT Universal Baseplate, Control Grip, Z8 and Z18 Tripods. See below for an overview of the Gratical HD EVF, VCT Universal Baseplate, Canon C300/C500 Z-Finder and more!

As of 8/18/14, the VCT Universal Baseplate will be available in a few weeks. We’re currently aiming for a winter release for the Gratical HD EVF and the Control Grip.  The Z8 and Z18 Tripods may become available as soon as this fall, but we’ll update this page as more information becomes available.

To stay up to date on the latest, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media - TwitterFacebook, and Vimeo.

We’ve received an overwhelmingly positive response to our new Gratical HD EVF, Z18 Tripod and VCT Universal baseplate. Watch this interview from Dan Chung in the live stream Teradek NAB studio with Zacuto owners and product designers, Steve and Jens, talking about these new products.


Check out these other interviews from your favorite bloggers and reviewers! Wide Open Camera, Next WaveDV, Newsshooter, No Film School, B&H PhotoPro Video Coalition, Bay Tiger, Cinema 5D, Lens Pro Lab and Production Hub,

The Gratical HD micro-OLED EVF

The Gratical HD EVF won NewBay Media’s Best in Show Award from Digital Video at NAB. We put the 1280×1024 HD resolution and micro-OLED screen of our Gratical up against the RED Bomb and an Alphatron for comparison.

Rodney Charters, ASC CSC, using the Gratical HD with a Canon C300Rodney Charters, ASC CSC, using the Gratical HD with a Canon C300

The Gratical HD EVF looks so sharp, the color rendition and scopes are going to make it the go-to optical viewfinder. Those Zacuto boys have done it again!
- Rodney Charters, ASC CSC

The Gratical EVF looks amazing. The colour and the tonal range of the image is better than any other EVF I’ve seen. I love the ability to add LUTs and cross conversion. The design is great too – especially having the rosette on the side for easy mounting.
- Dan Chung,

The new Gratical HD EVF features not only HDMI or SDI, but both, and it can cross convert. It supports viewing LUTs and can even export them to the Director’s display so everyone on set is seeing what the Cinematographer intends them to see.  Other such high-end features include a built-in Wave Form, Histogram, False Color, Focus Assist, and Pixel-to-Pixel zoom, not to mention the OLED’s brilliant colors, rich blacks, and great contrast.  All this and more is offered in a very reasonably priced package that will allow you to quickly amortize your investment.
- James Mathers, Cinematographer,

Z18 Tripod

Our Z18 model tripod is shown below with an ARRI eyepiece leveler attached to the Zacuto Axis EVF Mount and a front box from Hot Rod Camera. The mounts to attach these essential accessories are included with the Z18 tripod. See our new tripod in action in this interview from HD Video Pro magazine. (Skip to 2:25 for tripod-specific info!)

When asked why he decided to invest in a Zacuto tripod, Zacuto owner and product designer Steve Weiss said, “When we created our Axis EVF mount we had always intended it to be used for both handheld and eyepiece leveling tripod/dolly use. Since releasing the Axis we realized that besides $18,000 tripods there were no tripods with eyepiece leveler capabilities. That’s a deal breaker for us because because Jens and I are used to proper Cine Style shooting and this was half of the reason for the Axis EVF mount design.”

VCT Universal Baseplate

The VCT Universal baseplate has sleek lines, a comfortable shoulder pad and offers incredible balance. The VCT Universal features a long track for camera placement. The rod mount is set back 3” further than on any other VCT style baseplate providing absolutely essential accessory room under your camera lens for large sensor front heavy rigs.

Zacuto VCT Baseplate

In this NAB photo (above) from our friends at CineDigital.TV, you can see the Canon C300 is set far back on the VCT Universal for balance with the large Canon lens. The recessed rod mount still allows for a lens support, even in this tricky-to-balance setup. The VCT Universal works with all cameras, including DSLRs. It’s the last baseplate you’ll ever need!

Accessories for the Canon C300/C500

The new Z-Finder for C300/C500 is still front and center. Add our Z-Finder to your Canon C300 or C500 with mounting accessories like the new helmet and QR Coldshoe Handle, and these popular cameras become truly user friendly. Order here and watch the video below to find out more.

Impressed with the C300/500 Z-finder which I used recently on Dallas. For the documentary shooter it’s indispensable, it locks rigidly to the Canon VF moving the eye well forward where it should be. It provides great optics plus diopters all at a reasonable price.
- Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.

Rodney has been using the Z-Finder for C300/C500 with a full Zacuto Recoil shoulder mounted rig while shooting on the hit TNT show Dallas


If you have any specific questions about our new gear or or an existing product please email or call us at 312-863-3452. Stay up-to-date with our newsletter and social media – Twitter, Facebook, and Vimeo.

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Student Filmmaker Series – Part 5: Nine Things I Learned From My Favorite Young Storytellers]]> 2014-05-29T15:39:31Z 2014-05-29T15:32:54Z StudentFilmmakerPt5MAIN
My heroes tend to live off the beaten path, in total honesty and with wild authenticity. Arkasha Stevenson, Jon Kasbe, Matt Eich and Alexandra Mihale are a few of my heroes.

I spent some time getting to know these passionate young filmmakers. Here are 9 things I learned from their beautiful, genuine musings. Visit my blog to read the full interviews.


1. Stay

Arkasha: In college, I documented the lives of two people who lived in a hotel room together. D-Ice sold crack and Pansy worked as a prostitute. I told Pansy and D-Ice that I wanted to be around for everything. One night, business was slow and Pansy began to worry that they wouldn’t be able to make rent. She had a full blown panic attack and launched into a violent dissociative episode. D-Ice tried to pin her down on the bed so she wouldn’t hurt herself. I began to slip out of the room to give them privacy. As I opened the door to leave, D-Ice turned around and said, “I thought you wanted to see everything.” I closed the door and sat back down.

Watching a pimp hold and comfort his woman was the most raw thing I had ever seen. Later, it was strange to think that my first reaction was to look away from the intimacy that I was working to document. A rule I made for myself in college was that unless I am asked to leave, I stay.

Arkasha Stevenson

Arkasha Stevenson

2. Trust your instincts 

Arkasha: I’ve always thought that an essential part of photojournalism is learning to trust your gut. It takes a lot of work to learn to trust yourself.

Jon: A brilliant lady named Cath Spangler once told me that leading an interesting life leads to interesting projects. I couldn’t agree with her more. Ideas don’t have to be fully formed or perfect. They don’t even have to be good. Students should just run with what they’re feeling at the time and see where they end up.

3. Start making work right away

Jon: I started making work right away in college. One of my first short films was The Polevaulter. I watched people cry while watching it. I felt I had created something with meaning. Something that could do something for someone.

4. Embrace the struggle

Matt: It is a constant struggle to find work that sustains me financially and creatively. Even when it is a gig I’m excited about, I’m not excited about the prospect of being apart from my family. The only thing that has allowed me to survive is the ability to be fluid and not tied to one revenue stream.

Jon: During college, I didn’t take the time to find ways to make money. I lived off free food, campus events, and favors. I became super resourceful, but now I’m left wondering: do I spend half my life writing grants to do projects I care about? Or do I do projects I don’t care about and hope I still have the drive to make the ones I do care about?

Jon Kasbe

Jon Kasbe

5. Surround yourself with creative, inspired, hard-working people

Jon: My one regret from my college years is that I didn’t take the time to really seek out people I wanted to collaborate with. Most of my projects were started and finished alone. It’s tricky to find people with both drive and time.

When I was a college first year I would email people, nicely letting them all know I’d be happy to help them out in any aspect of their production at any time. Very few of them replied, and the ones that did usually said thanks but never pulled me into their work. I can understand why now, I didn’t make it clear what I could add to their process, mostly because I didn’t know what I could add.

6. Awards come and go, but good stories will sustain your spirit

Jon: Awards are slippery slopes. Say thanks when you get them, but forget about them as quickly as you can. They’ll mess with your mind and dilute your motives. In school, the main goal was to create great work. Over the years it shifted towards treating the people I made videos about with love and care. Now it’s a hybrid of the two.

Matt: I set goals for myself, but never had expectations of the contests and grants that I applied for. You never know what to expect and can’t judge the success of your work by contests alone.

Alexandra Mihale

Alexandra Mihale

7. Turn your vulnerabilities into strengths

Alexandra: I spent my undergraduate years studying journalism in Romania and received a Fulbright scholarship to Ohio University where I studied photojournalism. I remember the first time I landed in Ohio. I arrived around midnight with a big suitcase. I asked around at the airport for a bus to take me to the University. They told me there was nothing until 10am. I was tired and dirty.

A bus picking up Chinese students on summer break had an open spot and gave me a ride. I had no where to stay and ended up spending the night on a couch belonging to one of the girls on the bus. We are still friends. Being foreign was an impediment for me at the beginning of my experience in America, but soon became an advantage.

8. Make work fun. Make fun work. Do both at the same time.

Alexandra: I actually found some of the stories and subjects while partying. I did the piece Story Of A Girl following one of my ex-roommates, who was a party girl.

Matt: I’d say to shoot first and questions will follow. The questions are the important part, and they will help shape the direction you move with your work, as well as the shape that your life takes.

Matt Eich

Matt Eich

9. Everybody gets rejected.

Jon: Only about 300 people watched my second video Bathroom Text. It was heartbreaking, but I realized I couldn’t just make a video about anything and expect it to be good. This set me on a path to creating videos about people and topics I’m interested in and care about. I decided as long as I cared, it was a project staying invested in.

Matt: In the studio I have a bunch of rejection letters taped to the back of my door. They’re a good reminder to try and try again.


Read Part 1: Five Young Storytellers You Have to Know
Read Part 2: So, You Majored in Media. Now What?
Read Part 3: One Piece At A Time: What Gear Do You Need To Make Great Film?
Read Part 4: Five Ways to Master The Post-Production Process

Stay tuned for the final Part 6: How To Make The Most Of College As A Storyteller, coming soon…


Beatriz Wallace is currently a Visiting Professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her friends do cool stuff like take pictures of pets that need adopting at animal shelters, make movies with famous people and tell stories that matter. She worked at Cellar Stories Bookstore and Time Magazine after she graduated from Amherst College with a degree in writing and photography. She has a Master’s Degree in Photojournalism from the University of Missouri. She’s from New Orleans and she’s kind of scrappy. She might be a juicer, a yoga teacher or a software developer next. And she’s okay with that. To see her work, visit, follow her on Twitter @bigmuddyheart or friend her on Facebook (Beatriz Wallace).

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[5 Ways to Make the Most of Cine Gear by Lan Bui]]> 2014-05-22T16:07:55Z 2014-05-22T16:07:55Z Cine Gear LogoFilmmakers from across the country will be heading to Los Angeles this June for the Cine Gear Expo. This trade show, held on an outside film lot at Paramount Studios, may have a laid back vibe, but with a wide variety of exhibits, master class seminars, film screenings and more, it’s no joke.

LA based filmmaker Lan Bui (The Bui Brothers, Cast and Crew Call) knows a thing or two about Cine Gear and the LA filmmaking scene. Here are his top 5 tips to making the most of Cine Gear.

1. Set your goals

Why do I go to Cinegear? To be discovered by new clients, nurture relationships with previous ones, line up more work, make more money and of course, to check out the gear. Every year I make sure to set necessary goals, desired goals, and ideal goals.

This year a main goal for The Bui Brothers is to increase our visibility through public speaking. Two years ago, we toured around the world to attend and speak at various industry leading conferences. The relationships built at these conferences grew to be so beneficial that eventually we had to turn down requests due to our mounting shooting schedule. This year we’re refocused and are redistributing our time to go out, speak, and meet more passionate people in the industry.

Cine Gear lot

2. Show your face, don’t show your work

Networking is important, but there is a time and a place to bust out your iPad and shove your reel in someone’s face. Cine Gear is not the place for that.

Cine Gear is a place to meet and talk to like minded people. We all want to find people to build honest, mutually beneficial relationships with. So don’t spam people with your reel, just talk to them with an honest and open desire to show your passion. If you can handle that, don’t worry–they’ll stalk you online and find your reel all on their own.

3. Try all the gear

I’ll admit it. I’ve been guilty of being a gear snob. Lately, I’ll try anything and you should too. The gear world is full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, so visit as many booths as you can. You never know what you’ll find.  Be sure to stop by Zacuto booth 74 to meet Steve and Jens and check out the new gear.


4. Go to every event you hear about

Well, maybe not literally every event, but don’t rule out events that don’t seem “cool”. Chasing the hot party or event will just end in a miserable night of chasing the idea of that cool, hot party. And trust me, you’ll never find them. I’ve tried.

The best events I’ve attended were not even technically events. I’ve wandered away from long lines only to end up at a diner or taco truck, talking for hours to people I otherwise never would have met.

5. Bring the following or risk death

Water, sunscreen, and cash… those three items will save your life. Cine Gear is outside in Hollywood during summer. It’s common sense but if you have never been or are just excited, you forget how it was last year. You’ll thank me later.

I’ll be at Cine Gear every day. Find me on twitter at @LanBui and come say hello!


Lan Bui is a filmmaker and photographer specializing in low cost high production value media. Some of his most recent work include an action/thriller feature film that premiered at the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood, a short film produced by Martin Scorsese and directed by Greg Aronowitz, an international advertising campaign for Manfrotto and a mini documentary for an amazing Maui based artist Shane Robinson!!!

He is also a public speaker making appearances and teaching workshops at SXSW, NAB, and other international conferences for companies like NIKON, Manfrotto, Vitec, Teradek and others.

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Scaling Mountains with the Zacuto Enforcer by Jonn Jeanneret]]> 2014-05-21T14:10:12Z 2014-05-21T14:08:08Z  Rock Climbing with the Zacuto Enforcer

I shoot in unforgiving environments. Some shots require that I lean out into the open air, hundreds of feet above the ground with a rope as my only connection to the world.

Other shots force me to climb early in the morning with tightly gripped ice axes, trying to get the perfect frame as the dawn hovers over frozen mountains. My equipment must be tough, reliable, small, light, fast to setup, and easy to use. Enter the Zacuto Enforcer.

It’s been a long journey finding the right camera gear for my climbing shoots. The Enforcer DSLR run’n’gun rig from Zacuto promises smooth footage in a super small package. Watch my video review below and decide for yourself if it delivers!

I took the Enforcer up rock cliffs, over the ocean in a kayak and long-tail boat, and repeatedly tossed it down in the sand where it would lie in the sun for hours. The Enforcer took more than a few good bumps on the rocks. None of this rough treatment fazed it at all. It still opened and closed as smoothly as it did on day one. Its shiny black paint mocked my pathetic attempts to put it through the wringer.

I attach the Enforcer to a climbing sling so I can wear it over my shoulder. It’s there when I need it and out of the way when I don’t. Folded up, the Enforcer is a little bit bigger than my hand. It’s very light at 556 grams/1.2 lb, but its metal body also feels tough

 If you want the best and would rather worry about your shot than worry about your gear, the Zacuto Enforcer is the rig for you.

Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 8 Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 7  Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 4 Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 3  Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 1 Jonn Jeanneret with Zacuto Enforcer 9


Jonn Jeanneret is a climbing videographer.  He has filmed first ascents of un-climbed Himalayan mountains and shot in remote climbing destinations around the world.  He runs the website with his partner, Brenna Fischer, sharing stories, how to’s, photos, and videos of all things climbing.  You can also follow his work on Instagram, and Google+.

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Top Tips for the Wedding Storyteller by Michael Liu]]> 2014-05-08T21:13:44Z 2014-05-08T16:34:20Z  The Wedding StorytellerThe democratization of filmmaking, through tools like DSLR video, has opened new doors and created higher standards throughout the event filmmaking industry.

This is not lost on brides in this detail-heavy industry. More and more brides are demanding higher quality wedding films from boutique wedding cinematography companies.

So, here’s my top four tips for new and beginning event filmmakers:


1) Story Is Everything

Our main goal as event cinematographers is to satisfy our customers. The best way to do that is to make sure the story of the couple is being told. Early on, even before signing the contract, we need to “survey” or research our subjects and determine what their story is. I usually take the time, before getting down to the nitty gritty, to get to know the couple. For instance, find out how they met, what kind of wedding they envision, and what they love. I’ll often speak to the couple’s family and friends as well. You’d be surprised how much insider information you can get from a five minute conversation with the grooms best friend.

Case and point: in this last wedding I shot, I found out the bride and groom met through an online game called World of Warcraft. After learning this bit of information, I chose specific shots throughout the wedding to highlight their online gaming love affair.

 2) Make Specific Choices

That means camera angles and camera movement, in particular. You also need to specifically plan the basics like deciding when to roll the camera. Having a solid pre-production plan is vital. This allows you to make informed decisions while shooting on the fly. Should you shoot with a tight lens versus a wide angle lens? How are you going to utilize your camera support? The more you know about your couple, their family, and their overall plans for the event, the better.

3) Use The Right Gear

For me, having the right tools at the right time is key to having a successful day of shooting. I use an ultra portable, foldable rig from Zacuto called the Enforcer that will fit in any small camera bag or even your pocket. They don’t call it run and gun for nothing.

What I love about the Enforcer is that you can literally set up and have a stable handheld shot in seconds. Larger rigs usually need a separate case just to transport, and can take a long time to set up. The Enforcer eliminates all of that frustration while giving you three points of contact for a smooth, stable shot. It’s also super fast to pack away and move onto something like a slider, jib or Steadicam.

4) Mic your subjects

You can always spot the amateur against the pros by the way the audio sounds. In the wedding business, you only get one shot to capture that perfect moment. Having good, clean sound not only makes you stand out among your competitors but it can save you in post as well. Good audio can carry cuts and b-roll and help support your main goal, telling a good story.

I hope these tips help some of you on your next wedding. I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the things that go into a wedding production, but like everything else, practice is everything. The most important thing is to get out there, shoot, and make mistakes. Until you try it, you’ll never know.

Happy shooting!


Michael Liu is the creative Director at Matchstix Studios and a video producer at Biola University. Matchstix Studios is a premier wedding cinematography studio based in Orange County, CA.

Rachel Kenton <![CDATA[Vincent Laforet Directing Motion Tour 2014]]> 2014-05-07T17:55:57Z 2014-05-07T17:42:17Z DirectingMotionTour2014Vincent Laforet, Pulitzer Prize-winner and DGA Director, will be launching his Spring and Summer Directing Motion Tour May 6, 2014 that will begin in Philadelphia, end in New York, and hit 30 other major cities in just 9 weeks.

Motion is one of Laforet’s main obsessions but Laforet believes that there must be motivated and purposeful camera movements that not only captures a director’s vision but also elicits an emotional response from viewers.

Laforet’s Directing Motion Tour was created with the aspiring filmmaker in mind. For weeks Laforet studied 100 of the best films, analyzing extensively, the motion magic created by directors such as Hitchcock, Spielberg, Scorsese, Welles, and many others. After 300 hours of research, with over 400 examples to share, Laforet designed a six-theme daytime workshop and an evening seminar catering to filmmakers of all levels. To sign up, and reserve your spot visit:

Laforet stresses that this will not be a daytime workshop limited to his explanations of motion theory but that participating students will be able to put what they are learning into practice with some of the most advanced cinema technology. The techniques taught by Laforet can be applied with minimal equipment to any film project such as interview setups, promo shoots, live-event coverage, short films, documentaries, and more. Laforet will also be discussing principles behind his own work including his latest commercial for Nike.

I can also tell you from experience, that once you attend this workshop, you will go from being a passive viewer to an active viewer and that you’ll never be able to see things the same way again,” declares Laforet.

“One of the biggest mistakes that first time directors make is to shoot a sequence in pieces. What we’ll do in our workshop is shoot an entire sequence in a linear fashion. Meaning we’ll start with the start of the action all the way to the end of the scene. We’ll shoot different types of coverage with three different types of framing. I’ll show you how you can inter-cut those three types of shots into a much more dynamic scene that flows.”

Zacuto Recoil rig for Canon C300/C500

Vincent will be demonstrating this Recoil rig from Zacuto during workshops.

“The scene will involve two officers pursuing a suspect within the classroom. We’ll be able to shoot a scene similar to what you would see in episodic television. We’ll be shooting the action with two handheld cameras rigged with Zacuto gear. We’re using a lightweight Zacuto Recoil rig with Z-Finder for our Canon C300. Because the rig is balanced and small we’ll be able to move quickly and smoothly.

When you shoot an entire sequence it tends to flow significantly more than when you shoot isolated pieces or small chunks of the scene which can feel very ‘cutty’ or jumpy. This is just one of the things we’ll be exploring in our workshops.”

Laforet is known for his avant-garde approach to filmmaking and storytelling. Reverie, a Laforet directed short film was the first to be shot with the Canon 5D Mark II. Later, he was chosen as one of the first filmmakers to shoot with the Canon C300. Laforet has been a cinematographer and director for clients such as Sony, Adobe, Pepsi, Nike and more. Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Time and Life Magazine are a few of the publications that have commissioned Laforet’s work. In 2010 he was a three-time winner of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. Laforet is considered a pioneer in the field of HD-capable DSLR cameras and is renowned for his innovative tilt shift and aerial photography.

To sign up, and reserve your spot visit:


Tuesday, May 6, 2014 Philadelphia
Thursday, May 8, 2014 Newark
Saturday, May 10, 2014 Boston
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Columbus
Thursday, May 15, 2014 Detroit
Saturday, May 17th, 2014 Indianapolis
Sunday, May 18, 2014 Chicago
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 St. Louis
Thursday, May 22, 2-14 Minneapolis
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 Denver
Thursday, May 29, 2014 Salt Lake City
Saturday, May 31, 2014 Vancouver
Sunday, June 1st, 2014 Seattle
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 Portland
Friday, June 6th, 2014 San Jose
Sunday, June 8th, 2014 San Francisco
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Sacramento
Saturday, June 14, 2014 Irvine
Sunday, June 15, 2014 L.A/Burbank
Tuesday, June 17, 2014 San Diego
Thursday, June 19th, 2014 Phoenix
Saturday, June 21, 2014 Austin
Sunday, June 22, 2014 Dallas
Tuesday, June 24. 2014 Houston
Thursday, June 26, 2014 New Orleans
Saturday June 28, 2014 Nashville
Sunday, June 29, 2014 Atlanta
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 Ft. Lauderdale
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 Charlotte
Saturday, July 12, 2014 Washington, DC
Sunday, July 13, 2014 NYC

Eric Marsh <![CDATA[Canon C300/500 Z-Finder and Accessories]]> 2014-05-12T21:55:29Z 2014-05-05T15:33:17Z C300 Z-Finder and AccessoriesThe Canon Cinema series cameras have been taking the world by storm! Steve and Jens saw the potential of these lower budget, high performance cameras early on and quickly began making baseplates and rigs for their unique size and shape.

Creating a Z-Finder for the removable, larger LCD of the Canon C300 and C500 was a new challenge for Zacuto. Always ready for a challenge, Steve and Jens set to work to create a lightweight, accessible, reasonably priced unit that could stand up to Zacuto’s high standards.

Want to see what we came up with? Check out this first look video from Steve and Jens featuring the new C300/C500 Z-Finder and accessories!

A whole new mounting system needed to be created, not only to mount the Z-Finder to the LCD but also to get the LCD in the right position for shoulder mounted shooting. Along the way, we replaced the “plasticky” Canon handle with a solid Zacuto handle and a new concept ‘helmet’ that attaches to the camera body and provides multiple accessory attachment options.

Z-Finder Options

C300/500 Z-Finder

Zacuto C300 Z-FinderThis easy to attach Z-Finder slides over the screen from your Canon C300 or C500 and is secured in place with a bar clamp. The Z-Finder includes 4 interchangeable anti-fog glass diopters, 0, +1, +2, and +3 so you can correct it to your vision right out of the box and then fine tune it with our red adjust wheel for perfect clarity. You’ll be able to purchase an additional -1, and/or +4 diopter if needed. Also included is an aluminum sun mask to protect your LCD screen from sunlight.

One problem we noticed early on was that the hinge for the LCD screen was too weak: when you press your eye against the Z-Finder it would move forward making the whole concept usable. So, we created a unique monitor lock clip (included) that slides onto the LCD hinge to stop the hinge from moving. This Z-Finder has a 1.8x magnification.

Order the C300 C500 Z-Finder

C300/500 Z-Finder with Mounting Kit

Z-Finder With Mounting KitThis kit includes a complete Z-Finder for the Canon C300 and C500 and a highly adjustable mounting kit that places the camera LCD with viewfinder in a comfortable position for shoulder mounted work. This is perfect for a Recoil style configuration with the camera directly over your shoulder.

The Z-Finder mounting kit has multiple pivot points that can place the Z-Finder just about anywhere with 360 degree movement for perfect alignment to your eye. Attach this kit to your camera with the required C300/500 Helmet Handle Kits. (See below.)

Order the C300 C500 Z-Finder with Mounting Kit

The Mounting Kit can also be purchased alone for those who already own the C300/C500 Z-Finder. Order the Mounting Kit here.

ColdShoe Handle Kits

C300/500 Helmet Coldshoe Handle Kit

C300-500 Helmet Coldshoe Handle Kit
This helmet kit includes the same Helmet and 3” Z-Rail as the Tapped Handle Kit, but the handle features two unique cold shoe mounts instead of the screw holes.

The cold shoes (one vertical & one horizontal) are secured with Zacuto’s new quick release clamp onto the shoe of your accessory.

You can mount two cold shoe items at once with a half turn of a Zacuto lever. No unnecessary winding of the annoying plastic round tie down wheel! This new system is a convenient clamp that cannot come undone. It a totally new way to create a rock solid coldshoe connection.

Order the C300 C500 Coldshoe Handle Kit


C300/500 Helmet Tapped Handle Kit

C300 Helmet Tapped Handle KitOur unique C300/500 Helmet screws directly into your camera at three different points for a rock solid connection. The helmet won’t add bulk or weight to your camera, but opens up a whole new world of accessory options! This kit includes a heavy duty wood top handle that attaches via an included 3” Z-Rail. On the front and top of this handle are ⅜ 16 screw holes (can accept a ¼ 20 using a brass collet) for accessories like screw type arms.

Order the C300 C500 Helmet Tapped Handle Kit




QR Tapped Handle and QR Coldshoe Handle

You can purchase both of our new handles a la carte with no mount if you wish. They are compatible with our 3” Z-Rail, 5” Z-Rail, Z-Rail Zotshoe, Z-Rail T, and the Zacuto Half Cage. These mounts can be purchased separately depending on your needs. The Zacuto QR Handles are also compatible with NATO, SWAT, RED, PICATINNY, and WOODEN CAMERA rails. To the left is a photo of the QR Tapped Handle.

QR Tapped Handle and QR Coldshoe Handle

Above: LEFT QR Tapped Handle, RIGHT QR Coldshoe Handle

Order the QR Tapped Handle

Order the QR ColdShoe Handle


If you have any questions about any of these new products, please call, email or live chat with one of our friendly customer service reps.

C300-500 Z-Finder with Mounting KitC300 Z-FinderC300 Recoil C300 Recoil 1C300 Recoil 2C300 Recoil 3Bruce Logan Using the C300 Recoil Rig Rodney Charters Using the C300 RecoilZacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.Zacuto Recoil rig for C300/C500 with Z-Finder on the set of TNT's Dallas with Rodney Charters, ASC CSC.